Music Reviews



Mar 18 2016
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Artist: Mingle (@)
Title: Static
Format: CD
Label: Kvitnu (@)
Rated: *****
The first seconds of "Final" - in spite of its name, it's the first track of this awesome album - could vaguely resemble the strings of "Yfirum" by Hilmar Ãrn Hilmarsson, but the direction that this output by Italian musician Andrea Gastaldello after dilutions of strings, that got wisely delayed and diluted over a metallic scratchy noise which could evoke the image of a painful laceration, is completely different and somehow unpredictable, even if the way by which he modelled his sound keeps on recalling some "deep" stuff of the Nordic scene that became remarkably popular in the first decade of the new millennium. The subterranean clicking, the ephemeral string-like whispers and the gradually ignited trigger of "Afterdark", the faint anxiety of the piercing narrow dynamics of the following "Words" and the almost chilling title-track "Static" wisely push listeners towards a sort of idle soul-scanning and such an introspective dimension doesn't really shows signs of subsidence during the first electro-mechanical subtle assault of the labyrinthine "Sevi Lwa", named after the branch of Voodoo which focuses on love spells. The thin air that sounds like getting excited by a crescendo of electronic percussions and sonic glare on "Dummies" and the temporary lukewarm quiet of "Slow" (featuring a sound which seems to come from old rotary dials) are the watersheds of "Static", whose temporary peace got definitively disturbed by the gloomy electrical throttling of "Conditions", which managed to hook some past listening memories such as Ltd.Noise, the almost unknown project by Paul Fishman - one of the founding members of Re-Flex - and Peter Gill - former drummer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, or Danny Almonde. The cathartic defrosting on the beautiful "Solitude" and the humoral post-industrial traces on "Too Late" prepare the ground for the extremely catchy tones of "Fate", where the achieving of new insights seems to find a sort of sonic mirroring. Masterfully mastered by Eraldo Bernocchi.

Kachina: Blind EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 16 2016
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Artist: Kachina (@)
Title: Blind EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Affectionate Groooves (@)
Rated: *****
The second output by Uk tribe Kachina on Affectionate Grooves doesn't really suit my musical taste, but it manages to show the versatility of this trio, which can easily juggle more house-focused stuff on "Blind". The title track - a nice set of typical deep house armoury, including the fading out delay on vocals and those effected synths, which sound like the noise you hears while brushing (deep inside...!) teeth! - and "Holding On", which features Uk-based vocalist Nikki Marie on mic - her voice perfectly suits the Balearic cocktail of piano, strings and funky lead guitar licks - are my favorite ones, while I don't really like the siliconized trancey house grooves of "Playing Games" and the jazzier one of "Stronger" (nothing special). The golden jacket they put on Bob Marley's classic "Exodus" on the bonus track doesn't add up to my eardrum's satisfaction as well. Some groove-lovers will maybe prefer to turn their eyes blind...

Kachina: Broken Lines EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Mar 16 2016
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Artist: Kachina (@)
Title: Broken Lines EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Affectionate Groooves (@)
Rated: *****
The first of two simultaneous outputs by UK trio Kachina, nicely named after the spiritual beings whose dolls or masks for ritual dances were personifications of things like sun, thunderstorms, insects, stars, planets and so on, who could have familiar relationships (similarly to contemporary dolls in children's games), perfectly sticks the "back-forwarding" sound of Affectionate Grooves, the subsidiary label of drum N bass focused NexGen that is reprising UK garage, two-step, deep house and speed garage. The typical elongated electronic whisper of UK garage over a 2-step movement, which sounds more catchy over the pulpy muttering bassline and the vocal inserts, on "Breakaway" could perfectly mixed over "Gangsta", whose amazing amalgamation of rolling beats, smooth chords and twisting basslines over sampled dialogues from Michael Caine and Ray Liotta could make you thought as a possibly suited track for GTA! Bpm slightly rises on "My Love", whose soulful hyper hooks could bring listeners back to past entries on the well-known Strictly Rhythm label, while the most balanced moment between shaking and chilling elements occur on the title-track "Broken Lines", whose whacky ragga vocals saying "We don't need no more wars in this world" over really elegant sonorities could be matched to some stuff of the meteor-like project Nu Spirit Helsinki without jazzy inserts.

Rob Sparx: Dreamin' EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Feb 29 2016
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Artist: Rob Sparx (@)
Title: Dreamin' EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: NexGen Music (@)
Rated: *****
The intro of the first song of this new EP by Rob Sparx that played in my headphones could be fitted to a remake of Dr.Strangelove for cosmic age, but a string sample, which could resemble the one that Roni Size used on his well-known tune "Dirty Beats", ignites bouncy groove and such an uplifting combination could be vaguely matched to some past entries by Omni Trio in order to give an idea of what you could expect. By the way, Leicester-born producer, who is known for his multifaceted approach and extremely versatility, saves his good reputation over the other three tracks of this tidbit: "Navigator"'s chopping on drums and sonorities which are closer to sci-fi soundtracks could let you imagine Rob managed to launch some junglist in orbit and memories of ragga-spotted jungle resurface in "Jah", whose occasional digital spins on vocal elements and flanger-like rotations can suit a junglist camouflage of Johnny Mnemonic! The highest peak of this EP got reached on the title track "Dreamin'", where Rob made a soulful tune, which could be matched to some glorious moments of the past with the connivance of the lovely voice by Dee Ellington, singing over a typically jungle bassline and the awesome drumming by Felix Weldon, whose amalgamation could resemble some outputs on Earth, the "organic" division of LTJ Bukem's Good Looking Records.

Martsman: Zoe the Shrink / Bios

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Feb 21 2016
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Artist: Martsman (@)
Title: Zoe the Shrink / Bios
Format: 12"
Label: Pushing Red (@)
Distributor: Tr
Rated: *****
The second heart bypass by German DJ and producer Martin heinze aka Martsman in the saphenous vein of Texas-based label Pushing Red includes a couple of good tracks, which mirrors his style, based on the shuffling of typical template of a drum 'n' bass/jumpfunk tune by means of offsetting mechanical beating and gorgeous sounds: the recipes he added in "Zoe the Shrink" are rifles of snares, an heartbeat-like kick drum, a risingly catchy combination of an electronic clubbing and an electronic lowing, which chorally bring - in the middle of the track and close to its end - to a sort of foaming pad-synth; the following track "Bios" got ignited by a pushy knocking over subtle hissing and enhanced by a sequence of elements, which could resemble some compositional strategies of 90ies electronic funk, whose elements (micro-electronic sequences, slapping funk-o-tronic pizzicato and over-delayed bleeps) harmoniously vault towards and over the above-described bass-driven pressure plate.


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